- The Washington Times - Monday, April 12, 2021

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said “it’s still not OK” for people to gather in public indoors even if they’re vaccinated against COVID-19.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “The Mehdi Hasan Show,” Dr. Fauci was asked whether “eating and drinking indoors in restaurants and bars” is safe now that nearly 22% of the population had been fully vaccinated.

“No, it’s still not OK for the simple reason that the level of infection, the dynamics of infection in the community are still really disturbingly high,” Dr. Fauci responded. “Like just yesterday, there were close to 80,000 new infections, and we’ve been hanging around 60-, 70-, 75,000.

“So, if you’re not vaccinated, please get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available to you,” he continued. “And if you are vaccinated, please remember that you still have to be careful and not get involved in crowded situations, particularly indoors where people are not wearing masks.”

Dr. Fauci said he hadn’t personally changed his behavior much since being fully vaccinated in January, telling Business Insider that he still won’t go to indoor restaurants or the movie theater where people are permitted to remove their masks to eat and drink.

“That would still be of concern to me,” he said. “I don’t think I would — even if I’m vaccinated — go into an indoor, crowded place where people are not wearing masks.”

Dr. Fauci said he still won’t plan any vacations either, despite the CDC giving the OK on Friday for vaccinated Americans to travel without getting tested.

“I don’t really see myself going on any fun trips for a while,” he said.

“If we could just hold on for a while,” he added, “we’ll reach a point where the protection of the general community by the vaccine would really make it very unlikely that we’re going to have another surge.”

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